Assuming a myriad of traits, Programmatic Media Companies (PMCs) each formulate a distinctive value proposition ranging from regional marketplaces to proprietary optimization algorithms. While there are endless channels for differentiation on AppNexus, I have found as an Implementation Consultant that there is a shared thread of qualities among the strongest PMCs. From this thread, below I weave those 7 habits conducive to long-term durability, grouped by areas of competitive advantage.
Competitive Advantage A: Operational Efficiency
Habit 1: Appoint one designated AppNexus point-of-contact responsible for internal knowledge dissemination.
A main selling point of the AppNexus platform is its depth of features and user control. As such, knowledge sharing among teams of Media Managers, Campaign Managers, etc. will unlock heightened utilization of the platform. A single point-of-contact responsible for the creation and sharing of internal, well documented best practices is key to enhancing expertise over time. Taking their responsibility a step further, this point-of-contact would ideally become the main channel for AppNexus communication and all Support Ticket submissions, quickly fielding a share of the questions with full context and expertise to become less reliant on Support.
Habit 2: Tier clients based on potential.
Campaign and Media Managers may be assigned advertiser/publisher accounts reactively as bandwidth permits, which may over time lead to an over-allocation to smaller-potential accounts. Tiering these clients based on current revenue and potential, and subsequently dividing team members’ time allocation according to gross moneymaking propensity will ensure that the most strategic accounts get adequate attention.
Habit 3: Increase employee utility with more advanced training.
AppNexus offers endless data combinations, which rapidly become stale as supply and demand markets continually morph. As such, employees who can quickly identify gaps and seize revenue opportunities are invaluable, and doing so requires a solid analytical foundation. Thus, it is essential to provide adequate spreadsheet software and analysis training to teams where needed. Effectiveness based on skills and tools available is as follows –
- Bare minimum: Know which Console reports are available and how to run them
- Well-equipped: Understand basic spreadsheet manipulation and chart-making
- Empowered: Understand advanced spreadsheet functionality (e.g. pivot tables, macros)
- Über powerful: Build API scripts to automate repetitive work and analyses
Competitive Advantage B: Differentiation Strategy
Habit 4: Avoid subjective assessments and instead utilize data.
The AppNexus Console enables users to engage in diverse targeting and customization strategies, which tend to differ from user to user, even within the same team. To avoid duplicating testing efforts, continually gather data and broadly share hypotheses, processes, and learnings; it will compound over time and lead to more informed buying and selling of inventory. Having a data-driven culture means more logical decisions backed by numbers.
Habit 5: Drive high integrity relationships to build your brand.
Your brand is the backbone of your company, and those who you build relationships with shape your brand. As AppNexus evolves, it will become even clearer which PMCs have solid 3rd party relationships. Strategically surrounding your company with quality inventory and demand builds a robust brand, a brand that will be sought by valuable partnerships. Prioritize using Console’s Deals capabilities to propel these efforts, and engage AppNexus guidance for demand outreach.
Competitive Advantage C: Innovation Strategy
Habit 6: Be a leader in fraud detection and ad quality.
AppNexus is innovating and enhancing its detection processes for questionable activity on the platform, and is taking appropriate action to make the Internet a better place. PMCs who remain stable or grow during this time have set strong standards for vetting their advertiser and publisher partnerships. Innovate alongside AppNexus in fraud detection and ad quality and then make this thought leadership known to your clients through marketing, sales, and social media!
Habit 7: Utilize tools available and invent ones that are not.
Tasks of PMC employees utilizing AppNexus Console regularly tend to be similar from day to day; many even spend the first 1 to 2 workday hours pulling and preparing the same reports. For employee efficiency, streamline processes by scheduling automated reports on AppNexus and, for the savvier, building custom reports and analyses via the API. Once the analysis results are significant and consistent enough, build automation technology employing these insights – and then utilize employees for innovation and the “human touch.”
Embodying the above habits takes time and investment, though PMCs who can incorporate these notions into their activity will be better positioned to grow as marketplaces evolve. Remember that AppNexus’s success is directly tied to that of our partners, so we encourage you to leverage your account team to achieve goals and overcome setbacks! Along the way, AppNexus will not only power the technology behind your business, but will also be your partner as the only advertising technology platform to provide deep business and technical consulting services backing your successes.